Friday, 29 March 2013

A Brief History of Transportation over the Ages

Every century has seen drastic improvements in the traveling capacity of human beings. It all started with the taming of the burro, horse, or ox as transportation means. But as horizons widened so did human capacity to create new ways of transit. Before the beginning of written history, there was development of log rafts and canoe to facilitate trading along the Yellow River, Danube, the Nile, the Tigris-Euphrates, the Indus, and other famous waterways. Later, the invention of the sailboat brought along by the Phoenicians and Chinese significantly enhanced the commerce of early civilizations. These ships had the capacity to make steady progress even if the winds were slow. When it came to land, the main innovations were the development of roads, and post roads to keep letters and message moving at high speeds.

The Great Nineteenth Century
By the end of the nineteenth century, all speed records were broken, and new modifications were made to the existing methods of transit. There was also the application of steam power to begin rail road operations. Apart from better speed, these locomotives possessed one outstanding capability: the capacity to carry extremely heavy loads at very high speeds. Hence, in places where navigating waterways were not accessible, the items that were too heavy to be carried by dray-wagons were shipped by railroads.

Twentieth Century
If the nineteenth century was known for steamships and railways, the twentieth century became the age of airplanes and automobiles. Once again, the speed of transportation increased. However, one of the main results of this revolution was the construction of roads. The new cars had a tough time tackling the mud. Also, their speeds and weights demanded a tougher surface. Throughout 1920's, almost all the main roads in America and Europe were paved, and the automobiles became the major mode of transportation.

Twenty First Century
At the same time, other revolutions in public transportation were underway, both on in the air and the ground. A basic form of vehicle control was released with aircraft autopilots. Gradually, with the development of sophisticated computer technology true autonomy was achieved. Due to advancements, there was also lowering of maintenance costs for automobiles and aircrafts.

Major ways of public transportation today:

Yellow taxis: Yellow taxi cabs were originally started in Chicago, Illinois. Today, there are several private companies that offer this service throughout the United States. Some companies boast of fleets of sophisticated taxicabs connected with hi-class dispatch systems that ensure the cabs reach on time. These cabs also have credit card machines to ensure ease of payment.

Bus services:
Bus services have been playing a big role in providing public transport. These services can take several different forms, varying in kind of buses used, distance covered, routes and schedules followed. The buses may also be operated by private or public agencies, and be offered using fleets of varying sizes.

Metro is essentially a passenger transport system used in the urban areas. This rapid transit system is normally located underground or on elevated viaducts. The trains used are extremely fast and have the capacity to carry large number of people across stations. The largest rapid transit system by the total number of stations and length is in New York City.

Civil Aircrafts:
Civil aircrafts can be categorized into general and commercial. Commercial aircrafts are designed for carrying mail, passengers, and other cargo. While general aviation, on the other hand, is used for private and commercial use.

The history of transportation developed with the progress of human culture. From walking tracks to domesticated animals and from small boats to automobiles and major aircrafts, transportation has come a long way in making life easier and in globalization.

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